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June 5-6, 2012: Transit of Venus

Update: This event has passed

On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun. This phenomenon won't occur for more than 100 years.

On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun for the last time in over 100 years.

Illustration image

The black spot is Venus passing the Sun.

The black spot is Venus passing the Sun

©iStockphoto.com/knickohr

During the transit, Venus became visible from Earth as a small dot against the Sun's disk.

It took Venus 6 hours and 40 minutes to travel across the Sun's disk. Seen from the Earth's center (geocentric coordinates), the transit started at 22:09:29 and ended at 04:49:27 Universal Time (UT).

Depending on the observer's actual geographic location, times varied by up to several minutes .

Mercury Transit on November 11/12, 2019
Local Times, Map & Animation

Just a Tiny Dot

Although Venus is almost four times larger than the Moon, it blocks a much smaller portion of the Sun's face than the Moon does during a solar eclipse. This is because it is much further away from Earth.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, Earth is the third. On a clear night, Venus can also be seen as a bright “star” in the sky, especially shortly after sunset or before sunrise. This is why it is also referred to as “evening star” or “morning star”.

Local Times Worldwide
Venus Transit, June 5-6, 2012

How Rare Are Venus Transits?

The alignment Earth - Venus - Sun has only occurred 8 times since the invention of the telescope: in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, and 2012.

The phenomenon can be experienced in recurring intervalls of 8 years, 121.5 years, 8 years, and 105.5 years. The next Venus Transit will be 105.5 years after the last one, on December 11, 2117.

Topics: Astronomy, Sun, Planets, Eclipses

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Partial Lunar Eclipse

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Planet Transits

  1. Transit of Mercury
  2. Transit of Venus

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